Photo from the UST Artlets Student Council

FORMER Artlets Student Council (ABSC) president Reymark Simbulan succumbed to severe pneumonia on Sept. 21. He was 24.

Cathy Simbulan said her brother developed septic infection due to severe pneumonia after testing positive for Covid-19 twice.

“He fought till his last breath like a warrior,” Cathy told the Varsitarian.

Cathy said her brother tested positive for Covid-19 on Sept. 11. Although Reymark’s chest X-ray was normal, he wanted to be admitted to the UST Hospital (USTH), but his doctor advised him to undergo self-quarantine.

Reymark returned to the USTH on Sept. 17, but the hospital did not accept him since the hospital required patients to finish 10 days of home quarantine. 

On Sept. 20, Reymark’s mother went to the USTH emergency room (ER) to inform the hospital that Reymark would be brought to the ER since he had difficulty breathing.

The USTH advised her that Reymark would be placed in the red zone without any companion, so Reymark’s family rushed him to the Chinese General Hospital instead. 

The red zone is the contamination zone for Covid-19 positive patients. Before being admitted to the USTH red zone, patients and companions are given the choice to be admitted or not.

Simbulan died 32 hours later.

Simbulan earned his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University in 2019. He then pursued law at the Ateneo de Manila University.

He served as ABSC president in Academic Year (AY) 2017-2018 and president of The Political Science Forum (TPSF) in AY 2016-2017.

RELATED: ‘I was weak’: Artlets Student Council president admits health issues, considers quitting

Wrexler Bayani, who served as ABSC public relations officer during Simbulan’s term, said Simbulan was an archetype for other student leaders to follow. 

“He always challenged the status quo through his advocacies and values. In some way, that also inspired me to keep going. He was our ‘Rey of Sunshine’ during our darkest times; even if we faltered, he [knew] that we [could] bounce back,” Bayani told the Varistarian.

“Student leaders nowadays should be like him: passionate, objective, proactive, thoughtful; [they should] ‘never settle for less because we deserve so much better,’” Bayani added.

Krystal Migallon, a friend of Simbulan, remembered the former ABSC president as a sweet, humorous and intelligent person.

“Ipapakita niya love niya in other ways, in his own unique ways. Ipaparamdam niyang super special ka and he values you so much, especially if you’re his friend,” Migallon said.

Simbulan’s remains were cremated. 

A funeral Mass was held for Simbulan at the Kanlungan Columbary, Chapels and Crematory in Sta. Maria, Bulacan, on Sept. 25.

His remains were brought to the Sanctuario De Paz Memorial Park. Hannah Joyce Andaya


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